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Axa and Pru putting WP fences up with reviews looming

Axa is shutting its doors to new IFA with-profits bond busi-ness, while Prudential says it could ringfence its £70bn fund in anticipation of recommendations from the Sandler review.

Axa deputy chief actuary Peter Shelley says the move is a temporary measure but he could not guarantee the firm will re-enter the market and claims it is simply managing its business prudently.

The company will continue to offer with-profits bonds through its tied advisers and Birmingham Midshires appointed representatives. With-profits pension business will continue as before. Axa staged a partial retreat from the market earlier this year, allowing IFAs – who account for up 90 per cent of its market – to sell its with-profits only on a 50/50 basis with other investment bonds.

Shelley says: “This has nothing to do with Sandler or the FSA with-profits review. We hope to be able to sell a recognisable with-profits offering and do so economically after the reviews. We have not taken any decisions but we anticipate a return to the market next year.”

Prudential UK chief executive Mark Wood says: “Maybe we will have to make our fund 100/0 and make an explicit charge for the hedge of smoothing.”

Syndaxi principal Robert Reid says: ” The companies are seeing ringfencing as inevitable and the business will not be as attractive as before. As transparency rules are pushed through there will be companies who will have the decision about staying in the market made for them. I am sure there will be other companies following suit.”


Ring the changes

1. Undertake a thorough audit of strategy and business processes with the support of an external consultancy 2. Question why things are done the way they are 3. Identify synergies 4. Identify inefficiencies 5. Remember that customers are the driving force behind the organisation 6. Set clear, achievable objectives 7. Implement change one step at […]

State Street Global Advisors – StreetTRACKS MSCI Europe Industrials ETF

Wednesday, June 19, 2002Type: Exchange traded fundAim: Growth by tracking the MSCI industrial Europe indexMinimum investment: Subject to negotiation with stockbroker Maximum investment: NonePlace of registration: UKIsa link: YesPep transfers: YesCharges: Annual 0.5%Commission: NoneContact:

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